Thursday, January 29, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Large signs coming and going in Fairfield

jelly belly sign_biz buzz

The Jelly Bely sign along Interstate-80 is soon to be torn down, and a new sign along Highway 12 is going to be put up. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A10 | March 03, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — One towering freeway sign featuring Jelly Belly should come down shortly and another one, even bigger, could go up at another location.

The one targeted to come down is the 62-foot-tall Welcome to Fairfield sign along Interstate 80 at Auto Mall Parkway owned by the Fairfield Conference & Visitors Bureau. Though not an official Jelly Belly sign, it is Jelly Belly red and topped by an 8-foot-tall figure of Mr. Jelly Belly.

At one point, the bureau planned to relocate the sign to Hale Ranch Road near the Anheuser-Busch brewery. But bureau President Anand Patel said the site didn’t work out because of a buried, concrete Solano Irrigation District line.

The sign should come down in March, Patel said.

Meanwhile, JSJ Electrical Display has filed papers with Fairfield that would allow for a new Jelly Belly sign along Highway 12 at the Jelly Belly factory. This one would be 70 feet tall, with a flagpole topped by an eagle extending even higher into the air.

The proposed sign would look nothing like the Welcome to Fairfield sign. It would feature the Jelly Belly logo and an LED display.

But before this sign can go up, Fairfield must agree to amend its sign ordinance for that area. The issue could go to the Planning Commission on March 12.

Yet another sign is targeted to go up at the site of the Welcome to Fairfield sign along I-80, once that sign has been removed. This one is to be for the Fairfield Auto Mall. It will be owned by CBS Outdoors and have an LED advertising display.

When and if all of this gets done, the one party without a sign will be the Fairfield Conference & Visitors Bureau. Its Welcome to Fairfield sign went up in 2005 to entice drivers passing on the freeway to stop and visit Fairfield.

“I’m not sure we can necessarily rely on a 65-foot-tall Jelly Belly sign to draw tourism,” Patel said.

Many I-80 drivers are commuters. Also, since the sign went up, there has been a shift to digital and social media advertising, Patel said.

He mentioned a tourism conference in Tacoma. He met there with tour operators and international operators interested in bringing tours to the city.

“I think that’s where we’ll get the biggest bang for our buck,” Patel said.

Do you have a Biz Buzz item? Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929, or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
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Discussion | 4 comments

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  • P.J.March 03, 2014 - 8:38 am

    All those mile high signs we see advertising what is at each exit are nothing but ugly, ugly, ugly. Besides the sign mentioned, there's one for the mall exit, and one stating "Paradise Valley", like it's a separate town. If you're driving and paying attention to the road the signs don't mean a thing. The best signs of all are those little road signs that tell you if there's "gas, food, lodging". Maybe there's one that states "local attraction". Ask people what they think. Everyone I have talked to say, "all those signs are ugly, ugly, ugly"!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MarkMarch 03, 2014 - 2:52 pm

    PJ if you're opposed to the tall signs, show up at the Planning Commission meeting (and possibly the City Council Meeting) and state your objections. Rarely, if ever, does someone object so the Commission might just listen to you. If enough people show up in opposition, sometimes it can make a difference on how the Commission and City Council votes.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksMarch 03, 2014 - 9:28 am

    Years ago I worked in the beverage industry where advertising, point of sale flyers and shelf-placement were very important tools of the trade. I suppose that drives my view of these signs. I've never actually looked at them as a nuisance or unattractive. I've always seen them as informative.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensMarch 03, 2014 - 9:09 pm

    Ha Ha Ha-----''Welcome To Solano County--If the Government Doesn't Get You, The Gangbangers Will!"

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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